Jeff Usner: San Antonio
Season 3 | Episode 8 | Aired 07/15/12
Before unlocking the code to making millions on the Internet, Jeff Usner was drowning in debt, working endless hours and missing out on his family. He then suffered two major tragedies that changed his life forever. Within a four-month period, he lost his son, James. Then he found himself close to death from a stroke in the same hospital where he'd just lost his son. Today, Jeff is focused on putting his family first while still helping business owners increase profits and create balance in their lives. He's also helping others not too far from his lavish San Antonio home as the Secret Millionaire.
TEAMability Learning Center
TEAMability teaches parents valuable skills to stimulate and enrich their children who have profound disabilities. Parents are directly involved in the therapy sessions. Barbara Goldman, the executive director, says they have 40 families on the waiting list. The cost of providing such specialized services is quite high.
13-year-old Orlando suffers from cerebral palsy. He has symptoms similar to those suffered by one of Jeff's cousins. Orlando's mom knows that her son is a blessing. She believes that God never gives us more than we can handle. She's so grateful to the women who work with Orlando at the organization, as she can see the change in him whenever they leave. Jeff breaks down in tears, moved by the courage of this woman.
Jef meets with Barbara to deliver a homemade learning center for Orlando, who loves his new gift. Orlando's dad is overwhelmed at how well his son reacts to this learning center. He sees him doing things he's never done before. It's all thanks to the dedication of TEAMability. This organization has touched Jeff deeply. That's why he presents the ladies who started the whole thing with a check for $40,000.
Habitat for Safe Seniors
This organization hands out food to needy members of the community. They also have a home repair program for safety issues. Jeff helps a woman named Rhonda, who says senior citizens are often forgotten about. They visit the Martin family to help other volunteers put in a ramp on the front porch. Jeff is impressed by how much of difference they made in the lives of others in just a few hours. Later, the volunteer team is fed lunch by an 83-year-old grandmother who loves how many people can ask for help and get it thanks to this organization.
Jeff helps out at the weekly food drive where volunteers sort and distribute groceries to families in need. Rhonda has been running the food drive for eight years. She's fed thousands of families. For many, this is their only source of groceries for the week. Jeff learns that Rhonda takes a lot out of her pocket to keep things going. He's amazed by the line of cars that shows up for groceries. There are just so many people in need. At the end of the day, they don't have enough groceries to feed them all.
Jeff lets the volunteers know how much he appreciates being part of their work. He reveals his true identity and presents Rhonda with a check for $85,000. Tear flows as Jeff receives many hugs from all the grateful volunteers. This money will go a long way for a lot of needy people.
The Advocates was founded in 1979 by a local San Antonio boxing legend Charlie Mata. He and his son, Jason, run a boxing program to help stabilize at-risk youth. Jeff helps out with the assembly of a new boxing ring. He meets a volunteer named Cyrus who can't box anymore because he was stabbed seven times.
Jeff sees that the place where they are set up needs a lot of repair work. They don't have the proper tools to fix things up. Jeff has a chat with Jason's son, Jason, Jr. He learns that these guys are always working. They do this for the kids. Their dedication keeps them off the streets. Jeff steps into the boxing ring to spar with some of the kids who benefit from this organization's work.
Jeff reveals his true identity to the folks who run The Advocates. He wants to get in their corner of the ring by giving them a check for $35,000. Jason says they were on the verge of closing their doors. That's not going to happen anymore. Now they'll just be looking toward the future.